Coronavirus stimulus checks: How to apply for $9,000 funeral expenses reimbursement
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The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than half a million lives in the U.S., hurting families both emotionally and financially. The federal government is doing everything possible to at least reduce the financial burden on the people affected by the pandemic, such as issuing stimulus payments. Along with stimulus checks, the government now is also reimbursing up to $9,000 for funeral expenses to those who lost their loved ones to coronavirus.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: who can apply for funeral expenses reimbursement?
Both the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, created provisions for reimbursing funeral expenses. As of now, it isn’t clear how much the program will cost.
It is estimated that if every family that lost a loved one due to the pandemic applied for up to $9,000, the program could cost about $5 billion. The funds for funeral assistance will be available through FEMA.
This funeral assistance program was launched recently. It grants up to $9,000 per funeral with a maximum of $35,500 per application, meaning one can apply for more than one deceased person. Anyone who meets the following criteria can apply for the reimbursement of funeral expenses:
- The person must have died in the U.S. (U.S. territories and the District of Columbia).
- Funeral costs should have been spent after January 20, 2020.
- Cause of death must be COVID-19.
- The person applying for the reimbursement must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien.
How to apply for the reimbursement
Before you apply for the reimbursement, you need to get ready the following documents:
- Death certificate clearly stating the cause of death was directly or indirectly due to Covid-19.
- Document detailing the funeral expense. It must include the applicant’s name, as well as the deceased person’s name.
- All the receipts related to the funeral expenses.
- Document specifying the date of the funeral.
- If you received any funds from any other sources for funeral costs, then you also need the documentation for those funds.
Talking about the application process, one can apply for the reimbursement of funeral expenses only by phone. You need to call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333. The lines are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST from Monday-Friday.
It must be noted that FEMA is getting a lot of calls. So, if you don’t get through on the first attempt, try calling again later. Once you get through, it could take about 20 minutes to apply. You will get an application number, and will be asked to submit the required documents.
You can either upload the documents at your DisasterAssistance.gov account, or fax documents to 855-261-3452, or mail them to P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782.
As of now, there is no deadline to apply for the reimbursement of funeral expenses.